The Challenge of Human Rights: Origin, Development and Significance / Edition 1

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The Challenge of Human Rights traces the history of human rights theory from classical antiquity through the enlightenment to the modern human rights movement, and analyses the significance of human rights in today's increasingly globalized world.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Jack Mahoney has produced an account of human rights that speaks directly to contemporary audiences. It dodges none of the hard questions and its defence of human rights rings true as a result. It is a scholarly but also an intellectually exciting read." Conor Gearty, London School of Economics and Political Science

“Mahoney's text is excellent; it makes complicated issues accessible without lapsing into oversimplification. This is no small achievement and makes the text especially well-suited to undergraduate teaching. The range of issues covered is surprisingly comprehensive yet by no means superficial. The combination of philosophy and history is a major virtue.” Maurice Wade, Trinity College

"Mahoney carefully surveys and discusses the various attempts to explain human rights in order to formulate a single, compelling, logical proof for their existence."
America, The National Catholic Weekly

"This book may be useful as an introduction to the concept of human rights." Journal of Peace Research

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405152402
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/23/2006
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 228
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack Mahoney is Emeritus Professor of Moral and Social Theology in the University of London and is a former Principal of Heythrop College, University of London. He is the author of several books and of many articles on general and applied ethics, including medical ethics, business and professional ethics and theological ethics, and he has lectured and broadcast widely in these subjects at home and abroad.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     vii
Introduction     viii
Human Rights in History     1
The Ancient Classical World     1
The World of the Bible     3
The Medieval World     5
Renaissance and Reformation Thought     7
Hobbes and Rousseau     11
Revolution in England     17
American Independence     21
The French Declaration of the Rights of Man     24
English Resistance to Human Rights     25
German Developments: Kant and Marx     33
The Modern Human Rights Movement     42
The Charter of the United Nations Organization     43
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights     46
Continental Developments     53
The 1993 Vienna World Conference on Human Rights     56
Wider Human Rights Developments     59
British Developments     63
Conclusion     64
Clarifying Human Rights     71
Some Useful Distinctions     72
Rights and Duties     85
The Proliferation of Rights     91
Individuals-in-Society     98
Selfishness and Social Divisiveness     101
EthicalImperialism?     104
A Challenge to All Cultures     109
The Strengths of Human Rights     111
Establishing Human Rights     119
A Matter of Belief     119
An Essential Requirement     124
The Nature of Persons     127
Intuitionist Approaches     136
Human Dignity     144
"The Wonder of Our Being"     147
Major Opponents     150
Conclusion     155
The Globalizing of Human Rights     162
Global Expansion     162
Seeking a Global Ethic     165
Cultural Relativism     166
Global Human Rights     173
Towards Cosmopolitanism     178
The Inadequacies of States     180
"Principled" Cosmopolitanism     184
Human Solidarity     186
Bibliography     191
Index     205
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